Sony Music Entertainment has entered into a multi-year video content agreement with Verizon’s go90 mobile-only service, including comedy and competition series and live concerts.
Initial shows in development for launch in 2016 are:
"Crashed" – a hidden camera comedy show created in partnership with Joel McHale's Free Period Productions where unsuspecting fans, to their surprise and delight, are "crashed" by their favorite celebrities in music, sports and comedy.
"Car Star" – a competition series focused on singing in the car that includes videos in which amateurs go head to head to win the coveted title of "car star."
A Live Festival – a multi-night musical concert series showcasing Sony Music artists shot live and featuring a mix of performances and artist interview segments.
"The intent of this partnership is to highlight cutting edge, emerging artists and rising stars," said Verizon senior vice president of consumer product and marketing Brian Angiolet in a statement. "With strong positioning in sports and original content, the music community is another key audience we are aggressively going after."
Verizon launched go90 last year as an ad-supported service offering prime-time shows, live music and sports, such as NFL football games for Verizon wireless subscribers.
At the Citigroup Internet, Media & Telecom Conference today in Las Vegas today, Verizon EVP and president product innovation and new business Marni Walden said that so far programming has focused on specific shows and short-form video, not networks, in keeping with go90’s millennial audience’s demands.
“[O]n go90, we had no interest in putting a whole network or a whole bundle,” Walden said. “It was more about individual shows, unique originals and making sure that we were catering to that group.”
She added that go90 also is expected to announce a deal with Warner Music, where the content provider will have an exclusive music widow on the service. That deal should be announced soon, she said.
"We are delighted to be partnering with Verizon to develop music-based original video content for the go90 platform," said Sony Music Entertainment head of original content Lee Stimmel in a statement. "Consumers are increasingly turning to mobile devices to watch web series and shows, and we are excited to offer them a diverse line-up of fun and highly engaging programs that provide an all new way to connect with their favorite music and celebrities."
In addition to new original programming from Sony Music, the agreement also covers a slate of previously announced programming (talk show Tawk with Awkwafina and extreme challenge series Hey USA_X) from Astronauts Wanted, the joint venture between MTV veteran Judy McGrath and Sony Music Entertainment.